The UK has erupted in applause in a national salute to honour the hardworking NHS staff who are trying to battle coronavirus.
In a gesture of thanks to the frontline healthcare heroes, everyone across the nation was invited to join a mass round of applause from their doorsteps, windows and balconies on Thursday at 8pm.
The Clap For Carers campaign, which started online, was staged because “during these unprecedented times they need to know we are grateful”, according to the organisers.
— Chris York (@ChrisDYork) March 26, 2020
That was emotional ?
— NHS (@NHSuk) March 26, 2020
Amazing scenes NHS we fucking love and adore you all LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) March 26, 2020
— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) March 26, 2020
Ok. That was a genuinely gorgeous, warm, unifying moment. The cheers, claps & whoops were like being at a gig. I was so honoured to say a big thank you to my neighbour who is a health worker, but also because she lent me her corkscrew earlier this evening. #clapforourcarers
— Ayesha Hazarika (@ayeshahazarika) March 26, 2020
I didn’t know that a clap could make me cry, make me feel so connected even for a short time, to everyone out there, in the dark, or lit by the glow of their homes, a tide of love and gratitude for every single one of you in the NHS.
— Poorna Bell (@poornabell) March 26, 2020
Hearing my neighbors shout out and clap for the NHS beautiful ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/yebWmDJTSU
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) March 26, 2020
Well they can’t be in any doubt now about what they mean to us! Brilliant everyone. ??? https://t.co/Wjz9fkGOoy
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) March 26, 2020
Bloody hell. The clapping. Our street alive, clattering with it. Felt real, and new, and deep, and emotional. Fuck. Powerful. x
— Ian Martin (@IanMartin) March 26, 2020
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 26, 2020
Blimey. That was a genuinely special moment. Now let’s make sure we fight for the people on the front line to be paid well and treated properly – in times of crisis and not: cleaners, nurses, doctors, care workers, paramedics, the lot #clapforNHS
— Owen Jones? (@OwenJones84) March 26, 2020
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) March 26, 2020
The Wembley Arch, the Principality Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall and Lincoln Cathedral were among some of the landmarks which were lit up in blue during the salute.
It is part of the #lightitblue campaign which has been organised by members of the events and entertainment industry as a way to say thank you.
Radio station LBC collected video messages from key political figures who shared their own gratitude to the frontline workers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “My colleagues in the NHS do so much to look after us, especially in our hour of need and never more so than during the coronavirus crisis, so let’s join together at 8pm tonight to say thank you to everyone in the NHS.”
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also recorded a video for LBC and said he wanted to thank every person working in the NHS in London and around the country.
“You truly are the best. Your hard work, dedication and courage is saving lives every single day and we need you now more than ever before. I urge everyone to join together and applaud for our NHS,” he added.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I applaud the NHS, I clap for the NHS, I love the NHS. Well done everyone who works for the National Health Service and our care services and all the GP practices and everywhere else.
“You’re doing a fantastic job and I think the whole country has begun to realise how much we rely on you and on each other to get through this particular crisis. Thanks a lot and well done.”